The Italian Eurofighter Typhoons are deploying to Iceland to provide Iceland’s air defense duties.
From Mar. 16 to mid-April 2017, a detachment of six Eurofighter Typhoons belonging to all the Italian Air Force units that operate the Euro-canard aircraft will be based at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, to support NATO’s mission that provide Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet the Northern European country’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs.
NATO has rotated fighter jets to Iceland since 2008, in an effort to provide QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties while strengthening cooperation between allied air arms with Iceland’s air surveillance integrated into NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. Three times a year, allied combat planes operate over Iceland for several weeks “to ensure the Alliance can conduct full-scale peacetime air policing with minimum delay if required by real world events.”
This is the second time the Italian Air Force sends its Typhoons to Iceland: in June 2013, as part of Operation “Icy Skies”, Italian Eurofighters with 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (Wings) deployed to Keflavik along with support personnel as well as air defense controllers from GRCDA (Air Surveillance Squadron), 21st and 22nd Radar Squadron, respectively, based in Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), Poggio Ballone (Grosseto) e Licola (Naples), that provided reporting and control services and airspace surveillance services within the Iceland AOR (Area Of Responsibility).
“We operate in many areas to mitigate threats and prevent risks,” said the Italian MoD Roberta Pinotti, in a statement on Rome’s participation in international missions. “We have to provide our contribution to make this world more peaceful.”
The Italian Air Force, provides air policing of Slovenia and Albania airspaces, and has supported BAP (Baltic Air Patrol) mission in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the first half of 2015.
Image credit: Iolanda Frisina